Posted by: nativeiowan | July 11, 2011

not sure… do we tell mom, or not…

Missing 10 found

MONDAY, 11 JULY 2011 04:41
The two young boys who were amongst the 10 people found off Guadalcanal.The two young boys who were amongst the 10 people found off Guadalcanal.

Shared their 4-day ordeal

AFTER four days adrift at sea, the 10 people who were lost at sea were found and rescued safely.Their boat was located 8 nautical miles south west of Avu Avu, Guadalcanal Province by an Australian Defence Force aircraft.

The 10 passengers including a teacher, students and a couple with their two children were on their way from Ulawa to Three Sister Island when they ran out of fuel.

Ronald Marita one of the survivors told the Solomon Star yesterday they ran out of fuel just a few kilometers from their destination.

He said they tried to paddle their way to the island but because of the strong current it was impossible.

“Some of us were thinking of swimming ashore but most of us objected to the idea because the current was to strong and it was risky,” he said.

Therefore, they decided to remain in the boat and just hope and pray the current would lead them to a nearby island.

He said for the past few days they drifted passed Ugi, Marau Bay with their only hope to be drifted towards Guadalcanal.

“If we were not found today (yesterday) we would still be drifting, God knows where,” he said.

The youngest of the survivors were two brothers Castro More and Rensley More aged 14 and 15 years accompanied by their parents.

When the Solomon Star visited the survivors at the National Referral Hospital yesterday they were still in trauma, tired and still shivering in their wet clothes.

Mr Marita said they survived on eating root crops (pana) and drinking sea water.

After, four days of search with the help of RAMSI, Search and Rescue, the Australian Maritime and Defence Force through their government, the survivors were located at about 2:30pm yesterday.

They were located by the Australian Defence Force aircraft outside of AvuAvu.

The aircraft then reported back to the Search and Rescue team in Honiara to advice a helicopter to pick them up.

They were then flown to Marau where they were quickly examined before they were transported to the National Referral Hospital yesterday evening.

One of the survivors’ family members Dennis Marita told the Solomon Star yesterday that it was great news for their families who have been praying for their safety.

“It was a great relief, for me as a family member and for the whole family of those whom went missing,” he said.

Mr Marita would like to thank the Government and the Australian government for their help.

Meanwhile, Head of Maritime Operations department Brian Aonima also conveyed his appreciation to the Australian Maritime, Australian Defence Force, RAMSI, the Australian Government and the local officers at Maritime for their help.

“I would like to thank the Australian Government for always helping us in situations beyond our means,” he said.

Mr Aonima would like to advise boat owners, villagers and passengers to take precaution when travelling out to sea during the bad weather.

“I appeal to travelers not to put their lives at risk when they know it is not safe to go out at sea,” he said.

He said since the beginning of this month they have recorded six cases of people missing at sea.

However, the good news was they were either found or landed safely ashore.

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